My youngest son Jackson is an aspiring guitarist, and one Saturday afternoon we were at our favorite soul food restaurant after practice. Jackson was about 9 at the time. He was getting ready for a showcase his guitar teacher was putting on at the Whiskey in Hollywood, so guitar was definitely on our minds. We were sitting outside waiting for our food,and lo and behold who should come sauntering up the sidewalk but the Reverend Willie G, Billy Gibbons! Now I don’t know Billy personally, and have never done any work for him, but of course I recognized him, (who wouldn’t) and called him over to our table. I introduced myself and my son, and asked him to join us. He sat right down with us like he had known us for years! I was cracking up, explaining to Jackson just who this man is (he had no idea) and offered to buy the Reverend lunch. The first thing out of his mouth was “they got any beer?” Sadly for him, no. Next thing you know, he whips out a pack of cards, and starts doing card tricks for Jackson and asking him about girls and guitars…”which do you play, Gibson or Fender?”…which killed me, as if they were the only two kinds ever made! Jackson is looking surprised, like “who is this giant Muppet who just invaded our lunch”??
As we waited for our food, talk turned to what kind of music Jackson liked, and of course he pipes up “Green Day!”. Billy gets up from the table, says “wait just a minute” and walks off down the sidewalk to his truck, and comes back with a copy of ZZ Top’s remastered Tres Hombres(!) (sealed in shrink wrap, I might add) and hands it to Jackson. I was floored at the guy’s spirit and generosity. I don’t think he knew who I was, as I didn’t bring up what I did for a living, he was just hanging out with a couple of guys shooting the shit on a Saturday afternoon. Billy got his food to go, and as he gets up, he whips out a little pad and pen, signs a picture, and peels it off for Jackson. We didn’t even ask for it. What a character! He is like an ambassador of Texas blues or something.
A great guitar player, a great guy, and a great story I pull out all the time.